C.SE has the tag, but I cannot find a guidance (i.e. existing meta Q&A) on how questions using this tag are to be answered in C.SE and how the same questions are to be answered in BH.SE.

There has to be guidelines to phrase this type of questions in C.SE so that answers have a theological character WITHOUT making it degenerate into non-objective answers.

The meta answer should also help one to decide whether to post a word-study question in BH.SE instead, and give expectations to newcomers on how they can expect a BH.SE answer that (according to the site's purpose) should have more of an exegetical character.


1 Answer 1


It may not be clear, but I'd say that the general principles apply here. In the case of word-study questions, that means that they need to be focused. Here's what I said on BH.SE Meta:

Word-study questions are often borderline. I think they're a good idea when they're scoped to the use of a word within one book or perhaps one author (such as across Paul's letters.) Word-study questions across books from different authors are problematic. Consider, for example, a question asking about the use of 'justified' in Paul and James. When that question is asked it's usually because people actually want a systematic theology answer to how those two authors together contribute to the doctrine of justification (and the role that works etc play in it.) And even if we took all word study questions as genuine exegetical questions rather than theological ones in disguise, they can still be too massive to tackle in this site's Q&A format. A word-study on 'sin', or 'love', or 'church'? Countless authors have written long books about all of these words.

I've edited the word-study tag description to explain this.

Then the general rule of exegesis questions and denominations applies: questions on BH.SE can't restrict their answers to any particular group, while questions on C.SE must restrict their answers to a group.

So an example word-study question that would be acceptable here would be something like "How do Protestants see Paul's use of "justification" in Romans?" It's a word-study question because it's asking about the exegesis of a larger section of the Bible but focused on one word. It's scoped to one branch of Christianity so belongs on this site. And it's exegetical rather than theological, not asking about the Protestant view of the doctrine of justification, which would be the result of synthesising all of the Bible's teachings on justification.

  • It would be great if you could provide guidance to choose between the exegesis tag and word-study tag for C.SE. For example, using Paul's use of "justification" in Romans, when do we make it an exegesis question? Am I right that exegesis is "verse" level, and word-study is "word" level, both scoped to a theology when necessary? Commented Oct 17, 2022 at 22:11
  • 2
    word-study is a sub-type of exegesis, so the exegesis tag should also be used.
    – curiousdannii Mod
    Commented Oct 17, 2022 at 22:13

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